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Monday, December 3, 2007

Mario steals spotlight

Chalmers hits trey to lift KU

Kansas guard Mario Chalmers soars to the bucket past Souther California defender Dwight Lewis during the second half Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

Kansas guard Mario Chalmers soars to the bucket past Souther California defender Dwight Lewis during the second half Sunday, Dec. 2, 2007 at the Galen Center in Los Angeles.

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Grindin' it out in Galen

Ryan Greene, Tom Keegan and Gary Bedore come to you from the Galen Center on the Southern Cal campus following KU's 59-55 win over the Trojans. The guys discuss what looks like Darnell Jackson's now permanent place as a starter, just what's going on with Darrell Arthur on offense and ...

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KU hoops squad wins tough road match against USC

The Kansas Jayhawk basketball team won their first road game of the regular season against USC by a final score of 59-55.

Go figure

18

Free throws shot by each team

11

Free throws hit by KU

10

Free throws hit by USC

5

KU's scoring advantage from the free-throw line in the second half

12

Kansas' rebounding advantage (42-30)

6:22

KU's assist-to-turnover ratio

11:18

USC's assist-to-turnover ratio

21-17

USC's scoring advantage in points off turnovers

— Twenty-six NBA scouts gathered at USC's Galen Center on Sunday to check out certain "one-and-done" sensation O.J. Mayo in person.

The talent evaluators may have left the shiny, new arena - this day at least - more impressed with Kansas University junior Mario Chalmers, whose deep 3-pointer with :20 left upped a two-point lead to five points and helped the Jayhawks hold off Mayo's Trojans, 59-55.

"I'm not worried about outshining anybody," Chalmers said after scoring a game-high 20 points - 17 the second half - off 6-of-11 shooting, including 3-of-6 from 3-point land. "I just tried to get KU the victory."

Freshman Mayo, who was guarded closely by senior Russell Robinson much of the game, finished with 19 points off 6-of-21 shooting, including 3-of-11 from 3.

"Anybody on our team can take over a game," Chalmers said with a shrug. "I had the open shot tonight. Whoever is open will take it."

Chalmers' 25-footer, deemed "the biggest shot of the game," by head coach Bill Self, came not as the first option on the crucial possession.

"I threw it to Rod (Stewart) with five seconds on the (shot) clock because I thought he had a better angle to get it to 'D-Block,'" Chalmers said of feeding it inside to Darnell Jackson, who had nine points and a career-high 13 boards. "He gave me that look, so I knew he'd pass it back. I got it with three seconds left. I had to knock it down."

Stewart, who was credited with just one assist (with seven boards and four points) in his return game to his former school, made the smart decision in feeding Chalmers.

"Not to turn it over again," Stewart said, asked what he thought when first fed the rock by Chalmers, who, like Stewart, had five turnovers. "I knew there was little time on the clock. I didn't want to look at the clock. Last time I looked up I got a charge."

So he flung the ball back to Chalmers, well past the 3-point line.

"He was on my side calling for it. He was making all the shots. It's only fitting he take that shot for us. I knew it was going in right when it left his hand," Stewart added.

KU coach Self was mighty happy to see the 3 fall through the hoop. Shaky at the end, his Jayhawks led by nine with three minutes left and eight with two minutes to play.

"I was not pleased with his play from a mental standpoint at all, but good gosh he competed hard," Self said of Chalmers, who had no assists but three steals in his 33 minutes. "He showed a lot of poise. He competed down the stretch."

Mayo did convert an uncontested layup at :05 to slice KU's lead to three points, but the Jayhawks were able to inbound to Chalmers, who iced one of two free throws at :03 to end USC's hopes of a shocking come-from-behind win.

"That shouldn't happen with a veteran ballclub. Hopefully it won't happen again," Self said of fading down the stretch.

"(But) it was a good win, a grind-it-out win. Now we know we can win those," added Self, disturbed by KU's 22 turnovers, nine in an anemic first half that saw KU down, 27-25. "We were horrible. We missed layups. We turned it over. Somehow the lid never came off (KU hit 37.9 percent to USC's 38.5 for game), but we were able to get it tied (after being down 16-6). Offensively we were very poor, so stagnant and lost our poise.

"I'm not upset at our defense."

The defense on Mayo, of course, was pivotal.

"We didn't do anything special. All we did was try to guard him," Self said. "Give Russell credit. I thought Russell defended him well."

Mayo played all 40 minutes, suffering five turnovers.

"I think O.J. is as talented a kid as I've ever coached against," Self said. "Nobody has more talent. We tried to make him earn everything, tried to keep him off the free-throw line, which we did a bad job of the first half (he hit four of six charities the first half and didn't attempt any the second).

"We had to hope he shoots a bad percentage and gets tired. I think it's what happened."

KU returned to Lawrence right after the game and will gear for Wednesday's 7 p.m. home contest against Eastern Washington.

Comments

Lebowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Good post, jay, I agree.

"The Point: KU beat USC without Collins and Reed" - I think this time period, especially games like the USC game, is essential to help our bigs get tougher and more consistent. So many times with all 3 guards we can get pressure and transition and turn games into easy wins that don't really challenge our bigs to get tough and rebound. Being short one of our leading scorers all season long has put more on the bigs and I think that's going to help in March.

"The Problem: Shady" I agree completely. I like Shady's chances of becoming a lot more consistent than Julian. For one, Julian took over and won some games, but we have to remember he was almost utterly worthless in others (like the last one he played in a KU uniform). Second, I think he fully recognizes what is going to make him a better and more consistent scorer.... that is putting himself in better position to score before he gets the ball.

"The Worry: Rush's knee" I think his knee is getting closer to 100%, it's his brain that's nowhere near it needs to be. He badly shortarmed a point-blank layup and almost airballed it. Another thing I think we all tend to do.. is our fond memories of what Rush has done well make us forget all about the deficiencies that he has always had. We have to face it, his 100% is not as good as we'd like it to be.

"The Assessment: KU played pick and roll" I agree. Our big men need to develop that six to ten foot jumper off the glass. It's as if it results in a dunk or nothing at this point. If the defense rotates, then a quick jumper is nice, because it usually would put us in a decent spot for the offensive board. I think our guards can do a much better job on these plays too. They aren't using them real aggressively and they aren't doing a great job getting it do the big man.

"Cole Contemplation:" Yep, as Self promised us, Cole isn't ready to contribute as much as we're used to.

UNC Tangent: Unless Rush can reach his level of play of last year, and Shady can start beasting occassionally, its UNC and Memphis in March.

KU Redirect: If Rush and Shady reach critical mass, then I pick KU

To me, KU has more control of their fate this year than ever. Someone might be bigger than us, but noone's faster. You have two unteachable traits in basketball teams... size and speed. Kansas might have less size at the guard position. But with Collins, Chalmers and Robinson... noone has as much speed. The essential thing to our chances is getting the most out of that speed. Getting our bigs to play as tough as they did at the end of the USC game is a huge start, because that creates running opportunities.

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kushaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Jaybate: I usually agree with most of your posts, but I disagree with you on two of your points. Brandon Rush, in my opinion looks better going left than he ever has in his two years. He just looked out of rhythm against USC, plus he didn't touch the ball that much. If you noticed other games, he was driving pretty continously to his left towards the middle of the paint either kicking out or planting 1-2 for mid-range jumper. I think he did a lot of dribbling with his left during rehab and I think that's helped him. Just my opinion, but I think he looks better going left.

As far as UCLA, UT defeated UCLA with Collison. It was Collison's second game back, but UCLA had him. He didn't quite have his explosiveness, but nonetheless, Augustine is a better point guard.

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Lebowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Journalists are paid to write articles that people will read... and at KU, basketball articles generally get more hits than football. As much as I'm excited about how the football team is doing, I don't really need to read about it because I know we have a lot of time between now and when they actually play again. It's going to be a badly beaten dead horse by the time the game rolls around.

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jaybate 6 years, 4 months ago

The Point: KU beat USC without Collins and Reed, and with Rush at half speed. With them, they kick USUCK.

The Problem: Shady couldn't score much against USUCK's bigs. Though he's good, he's not as far along as Julian was last year. We need him to be farther, as long as Rush continues his on-court rehab.

The Worry: Rush's knee is no where near 100%. It looks like opponents have watched the video on him since his return and discovered that he has even less game to his left than he had before. I was afraid of this. When a player is injured, he has to put all his time into rehab and can't work on his weaknesses the way he might have otherwise.

The Assessment: KU played pick and roll to nullify USUCK's height advantage at 1 and 2,, but our bigs need alot of work at pick and roll. They have to score more on the roll.

Cole Contemplation: Its beginning to look like KU is a 3-big team this year. Darrell and Darnell are the starters and Sasha backs them both up. Cole watches. This will haunt us when we finally meet teams like UNC and Memphis that go 4 deep in the bigs.

Texas Tangent: Butcher Barnes proved muscle ball negates Ben Howland's UCLA hack'n'slap defense. UCLA looked like they brought a knife to a gunfight. Its apparently tough to hack when you're being fouled hard and tough to slap when your butt is on the floor. Good for Butcher Barnes. I dislike hack'n'slap more even more than Butcher Ball.

UCLA Tangent: UCLA barely lost to UT without Collison, which means they likely would have taken the Horns with him. They're tough, but Kevin Love only hides that they lost a great true two in Afflalo and haven't got an equivalent replacement; this plays into KU's hands in a rematch.

Kevin Love Tangent: Love has good fundamentals and skills and he's a load, but he's also a frosh who can't jump. He's really Bill Laimbeer with an outlet pass. Laimo couldn't lead a team to a ring, but he could complement stars on the road to a championship in the L. UCLA's problem is that they need Love to be the star--to lead them to a ring and I doubt he's good enough. They miss Afflalo. Self, Calipari, Roy, or John Thompson Version 2.0 can probably close off the exit passing lanes. Which ever of these coaches develops two fives capable of putting ten fouls on Love takes him clear out of his game. UCLA lacks depth and a great 2. Love is not good enough to make up for the lack of both.

UNC Tangent: Unless Rush can reach his level of play of last year, and Shady can start beasting occassionally, its UNC and Memphis in March.

KU Redirect: If Rush and Shady reach critical mass, then I pick KU.

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madmangine 6 years, 4 months ago

Well...the football team is being overshadowed by the basketball team. Look, in reality I love the basketball team, always have and always will. If I use hyperbole its only to make the point.

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flipborder02 6 years, 4 months ago

Hey rockchalk no offense to you or the b ball team but we havent been to the final 4 or NC since 02-03 season. I meen we have had great success since then but, like I said dont you think its about time we took the next step ?

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rockchalkAZ 6 years, 4 months ago

look, don't come onto the basketball articles and state that the basketball team has had "chronic, constant and relatively mediocre success." Consistently ranked in the top 5 in the nation and big XII titles the last three years is not "mediocre success." no one is going to make an extra effort to NOT support the orange bowl, it just pisses people off (myself for one) when people come on here and bitch that the football team is being overshadowed by the basketball team

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madmangine 6 years, 4 months ago

Amen Fabio, agree completely.

It saddens me that my love for the two biggest Kansas sports is currently polarized. We've become complacent as basketball fans, which by default, makes us poor football fans. Throw a big 12 title bone every 2/3 years, a couple of elite 8's and man "life is good!" I've spoke to several friends about this issue, and the upcoming bowl game. Some have said they are not going because it's too much money, time etc/whatever. Of course, what they really mean is "no need to make an effort, this season is probably a fluke and besides, the basketball team will always be good."

So I am arguing that chronic, constant and relatively mediocre success on the hard court has created a culture of complacency regarding the football team. This is why I have issues with Kansas basketball and Kansas basketball fan. Fabio is correct, as Kansas fan's (if you are one) we simply must support the Bowl effort!!!!

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fabio 6 years, 4 months ago

madmangine is right. I think the national media is covering KU Football more than the local media. Sure, we got a nice win today. Had to win without a couple key guys, but thats all it was, was nice. The Orange Bowl is HUGE. Do you guys have any clue how much $ a successful football program will bring to our university?We need to go down there in force and send a message to the whole country that we will support our football team. We need to do our part to make sure we see more bowls of this caliber in the future.

kunomu-How do you think some of the football base got that mentality? Basketball fans knocking the football program as recently as a couple months ago on these very boards for example.

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madmangine 6 years, 4 months ago

Yes, underachieve. In my fury I slipped. This is neither a football or basketball school. ITS KANSAS, and it is completely insane that this morning, on this site, there wasn't a big ass orange the size of the entire page up. All I want is one, huge orange.

Love to all

(I'm not trying to take away anyones precious "hee hee" basketball team.

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flipborder02 6 years, 4 months ago

I was just on rivals and jayhawkslant spoke with Xavier Henry and they said he will probaly take a visit to a KU game. He also said he would take a visit to Memphis to watch a game. My personal opinion is we lose Xavier to Memphis I hate to say it but lets hope im wrong.

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Chicago_JHawk 6 years, 4 months ago

Guess what, madmangine...this is a basketball school. Always will be. I am surprised to see the football story down below, too, but deal with it. The BB team won a big game, and the FB team is heading to the Orange Bowl for the first time in almost 40 years. It is a great day to be a Jayhawk - don't search for something to bitch about.

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kunomu 6 years, 4 months ago

First of all I grew up a Kansas basketball fan and didn't start taking an interest in Kansas football until I got to KU in 2005. Having said that I agree with madmangine that it is an absolute joke that Kansas basketball gets the front page of Kansas football. Kansas basketball beat a average-above average basketball team yesterday with a big shot from Chalmers. However, going to an Orange Bowl is bigger news than that. It should be the front page story regardless of what is going on with Kansas basketball and I don't care if we had beaten UCLA by 50 yesterday its still early December.

However, I have gotten sick and tired of the Kansas football base trying to play this "us against the basketball team" game. We are all Kansas fans and we should all support the University. PERIOD.

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rockchalkAZ 6 years, 4 months ago

hey madmangine, you wanna cry about it? why does it matter if the lead article is about mario chalmers nailing a huge three to beat a MORE than mediocre team in their gym? it was a big game for ku basketball. And you say that the basketball team chronically overachieves? sorry mate, that's a good thing. i think you may have meant "underachieves"

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Lebowski 6 years, 4 months ago

Maybe I'm misinterpreting the rule, but to me, a "jump ball" should only be called when there is "joint possession". Someone smacking or placing their hand on top of a ball doesn't represent "possession" to me. I think that's a horrible call every time I see it.

The worst call of the night (or lack thereof) was the raping someone put on Stewart that resulted in a dunk on the other end. Not ONE word was mentioned about it and it was never again shown in a replay. That may be the most blatant foul I've ever seen that wasn't called.

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madmangine 6 years, 4 months ago

TO THE WRITERS AND ADMINISTRATORS HERE AT KU SPORTS: IT IS AN ABSOLUTE TRAVESTY THAT YOU DID NOT LEAD THE PAGE WITH AN ARTICLE ABOUT KU BEING ORANGE BOWL BOUND. SERIOUSLY FOLKS, THIS IS A MUCH, MUCH BIGGER STORY THAN MARIO FREAKING CHALMERS HAVING SOME SORT OF SOME TYPE OF GAME AGAINST A MEDIOCRE PAC 10 FOE. ABSOLUTELY RIDICULOUS! THERE IS TALK IN THE ADMINISTRATION ABOUT HAVING DIFFICULTY SELLING OUR 20,000 SEATS TO THE ORANGE BOWL SO WE NEED ALL THE SUPPORT AND PROMOTION WE CAN GET. SORRY, BUT WHAT HAS THE FREAKING BASKETBALL TEAM DONE BUT CHRONICALLY OVERACHIEVE. WAKE UP FOLKS, THERE IS A NEW TEAM IN TOWN.

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kushaw 6 years, 4 months ago

thetagger: Thank you for the description and I understand what you're saying. I rewound that thing probably 10 times and I was watching it on HD and all I saw was hand on ball, but not for more than a second, and Mario continued his 1-2 steps for a lay-up. Yes, the defender did slow his momentum and created for an awkward lay-up, but none the less it was not a travel, should not have been a jump-ball, and thus 2 points should have been scored. I think those refs partied too hard at the new Lindsey Lohan restaurant. That could be the only explanation for them not seeing straight

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JayCeph 6 years, 4 months ago

That 'jump ball' thing was a complete mystery. I still understand how that whistle went off...

Later in the game, when the ball was 'rebounded' by a group of guys under the USC basket, it seemed like an eternity before the whistle was blown. And then, it was to denote an 'out of bounds' call.

How on earth was Mario's drive to the basket a 'jump ball'?!? That has got to be one of the most careless calls (home cookin'?) I've ever seen.

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Kevin Sontag 6 years, 4 months ago

To kushaw, regarding that jump ball, the way I saw it live, I thought it was a stupid call, but looking at the replay, I somewhat understand it. When the defender stuck his hand in, he slowed Mario up and actually caused him to take an extra step. So the ref can't count the layup because of the travel, he can't call the travel because the defender caused it (like if a defender pushes the guy with the ball causing the pivot foot to move, it should be a foul rather than a travel), and he can't call a foul because it was all ball. Therefore: jump ball. I don't say it was a good call, I just try to explain it :)

And yes, overall, the officiating was atrocious. Both sides. With that, plus an early morning west coast game, plus overcoming a 10 point deficit, on the road against a tournament team, excellent excellent win. Keep it up boys!

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justanotherfan 6 years, 4 months ago

Our big guys didn't do a good job for most of the game of helping the guards out since USC was being so aggressive hedging the ball screen. Another problem that we have is that since our guards were smaller than their guards, those hedges can really disrupt our guys because they can't see over the bigger defenders.

Chalmers had a nice game yesterday, but I don't think his 0 assists did much for his NBA stock. He's a point guard at the next level. He just isn't big enough to play the 2. The NBA scouts are probably looking for a more efficient floor game from him, rather than just points. I still think he has NBA talent, but his PG skills are what will make him stick at the next level, not scoring.

The guy that did the most for his NBA stock yesterday was Darnell "D Nasty" Jackson. Just about every team in the NBA has at least one, if not two 6-8 or 6-9 guys on the roster that can bang, rebound and hit the 16-17 footer. That's Darnell for you. He may not get drafted, but I think he will get a shot on a roster. He's a good defender and a tough rebounder with a soft touch on the midrange J. He probably won't be a star at the next level, but he can be a contributor.

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Studogg 6 years, 4 months ago

Still not crazy about Trajan, but our road unis look much better than the home whites. Just MHO.

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kushaw 6 years, 4 months ago

Have you ever seen a ref call a jump ball, but the player continues to make a lay-up? That was the craziest thing I had ever seen. I can't believe they called a jump ball on Mario when that happened. The refs were terrible on both sides, but this is a good sign that we overcame the terrible officiating with an ugly win.

On a side note: How many people became frustrated with our ball movement? How hard is it for Bill Self to adjust and flash someone towards the middle of the court when when they have two guys who are trying to hedge us to the half court line. I also don't understand why didn't try to split that hedge 1 time coming off the ball pick. I mean, The big guys were clearly anticipating every ball screen and we didn't react to it. Just an observation, but very frustrating watching a poor defensive team really shut us down and force our offense 6 feet behind the 3 pt line.

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KU 6 years, 4 months ago

Great win to put in the "toughness bank" for down the stretch in March. If Sherron had played, it wouldn't have been so close. We miss his toughness. Arthur needs to let a little of Jackson's attitude rub off on him.

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booze_buds_03 6 years, 4 months ago

Hey tis4tim-Mine Fox sports only yanked away the HD channel while leaving the game on the stadard def channel. I have Dish though.

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tis4tim 6 years, 4 months ago

A ranked team, in their gym, in our first big road contest, down 16-6 nearly 10 minutes into the game, and Rush having an off game...gritty win.

Now, let's not ever do that again.

Oh, and memo to Fox Sports: Don't tease everyone with a close game and then yank it away with under a minute to go regardless of the contractual obligation. That's cruel.

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okjhok 6 years, 4 months ago

I think Coach Self is right on when it comes to analyzing Chalmers game. He's been like that all year. He's 100 mph all game, in your grill on defense, and all over the place on O. His decision-making really has been poor, but it hasn't killed anybody yet, so whatever. That's correctable. But damn, that kid plays some ball, and I love seeing his competitiveness. I think this team has more of that intangible than any other KU team I can remember watching.

On another note, the first ten minutes may have been the worst I've seen KU play in a long time. 4 points, numerous turnovers, and they played like a high school team. What was that? Maybe it was the first road game jitters (BTW, I liked the unis). Anyway, I don't want to sound too negative after an awesome win. Nice job, fellas. Keep it rolling.

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